Category Archives: News

Message to the DNC

“If fear of Trump is justified, and I believe it is, can someone please explain to me why the geniuses on the Democratic Platform Committee thought it was so god-damned important to play slippery games with the TPP plank? You all saw how Trump wielded that particular knife last night. Do you remember how we handed it to him? Dems voted it down last year, Obama put on enough pressure to get it through with mostly GOP votes.

“So why the HELL should Democrats own the TPP? To hell with Obama on this. Hillary says she opposes it. Why NOT put an exclamation point on it and adopt the Sanders plank on TPP? It’s not too late. And as an added bonus Pence voted for it.

“This isn’t about Hillary vs. Bernie. It’s about Hillary vs. Trump.”

Axé.

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Corbyn

Corbyn certainly appears different from the generations of cookie cutter politicians the UK has grown used to over the last few decades. The Labour leader doesn’t play the game and he remains unwilling to submit to what the media and the political establishment expect from a leader of the opposition and prime minister in waiting. In response, the British media have vilified Corbyn, assassinated his character, ridiculed his personality and delegitimised his ideas and politics, only then to subsequently blame him for his own negative media representations and his “toxic” relationship with the media.”

Read it all.

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Et on y va

I am going away for a month, ciao-ciao. When I get home, I will work in the office. I tend to avoid this but in fact there are many things at which I am more efficient there. I also tend to think the office and building are alienating places, and I have been right about this at times — but I will remove this gris-gris by inhabiting them.

Axé.

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The best Brexit article

If the EU worked well for any nation in Europe, it was the UK. Thanks to the skepticism and paranoia of Gordon Brown, Britain dodged the catastrophic error of the single currency. As a result, it has been relatively free to pursue the fiscal policies that it deems socially and politically desirable. The fact that it has consistently chosen neoliberal ones is not really the fault of the EU, the stability and growth pact notwithstanding. But in contrast to southern European members of the EU, Britain is scarcely constrained at all. Instead, it has benefited from economic stability, a clear international regulatory framework and a sense of cultural fraternity with other member states. One could even argue that, being in the EU but outside of the Eurozone, Britain has had the best deal of any member state during the 21st century.

This has been abandoned. Meanwhile, nations that might genuinely describe themselves as ‘shackled’, have suffered such serious threats to their democracy as to have unelected Prime Ministers imposed upon them by the Troika, and have had their future forcibly removed thanks to the European Union, might look at Brexit and wonder.

“Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit”, read it all.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison

A friend writes on this article:

Let me see if I understand. This state university is essentially becoming a for-profit academy. They can’t afford not to spend the money to keep the grant winners. Of course, that money spent to keep grants is public money being spent primarily to make money, not to educate. So that is the university as investment house. Research and learning are not really the point. Dollars drive knowledge, what gets to be known and what gets to reproduce its institutional status. The only legitimate use of public dollars is to make money. There is no public good beyond that to be served by higher education as such. That is the narrative in force right now and it is highly of cynical, especially given its power among nativists and a majority of voters.

Not enough people see the long term benefits of higher learning across the fields of knowledge and we are at that place where there is too little public support for knowledge that is critical or not supportive of commonplace understanding. The collapse of public faith in the inherent benefits of public higher education, while largely attributable to the activities of the Right since 1981, must be attributable too to some lack on the part of faculty. We and our immediate forebears witnessed these problems rising (adjunctification, exploding administrative ranks, corporatization, inability to engage in public rhetoric) and did too little to abort them. Now perhaps I expect too much. A small subsystem cannot control the whole. But I cannot escape the sense that too many faculty members abandoned the public and their students, because little of the market fundamentalist agenda is good for either the public or our students.

Axé.

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The election

My main reason for not voting Clinton is that her record and her policies are so poor. What makes it impossible for me to vote for her at a visceral level is her supporters, who feel I owe them my vote. The idea that the DNC/DLC own me because I am registered Democrat is ludicrous. I think Clinton is a terrible candidate, and her presidency will bring us little good. I am sure the Clintonistas disagree with me on many policy related issues — they must, if they are that enthusiastic. The reason I like Sanders is not because of Sanders but because that many people were willing to vote for the things he stands for.

Yes, fascism can happen here. On the other hand, hasn’t it already? Aren’t Clinton and Trump just two faces of it? Are Trump’s ugly nativism and ability to name Supreme Court justices really so much scarier than the activities Clinton’s men will undertake? On the other hand CenLaMar thinks Clinton could win Louisiana. We could vote for her and help stop Trump. That would be good, if one considers he would be worse. Or not, if one believes a Trump victory means a Democratic sweep in 2018 and beyond.

Clinton would be good for Louisiana as she is a strong supporter of the oil industry and proponent of fracking. With her backing of private prisons we would strengthen that industry, and she could help us privatize more of the public school system. That is why I don’t find the idea of voting for a lesser evil to be enough this time. I do normally say it is better to choose the less-bad because that puts you in a better position for organizing. But I don’t think that view applies in this case, or that it is compelling, because Clinton isn’t a liberal ally — actually, I was voting for Sanders as a liberal ally.

I don’t like the people who say you have to vote for Clinton, and I don’t like the ones who say you should not vote at all (because it is their Constitution, not ours, because the system is rigged, because, because, because, because, because). I also don’t like the ones who say Trump will not be worse than Clinton. I think they only say that because they are personally in positions to be protected from Trumpesque devastation. Nonetheless there will be Clinton devastation and the Clintonistas don’t know or don’t care.

I still don’t entirely believe the candidates will actually turn out to be Clinton and Trump, or that they will be the only major players. I also think Trump could drop out, or if he stays and wins, resign. I am at this time still voting Stein, although if the polls get really close I could vote Clinton, against Trump. All of this is what I said I would do originally. But mostly, I think the time to decide is in November.

Axé.

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Los Adaes

Look at this.

Axé.

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